Criticisms answered in this document:
1. Theologians and the seminary professors will never endorse The Urantia Book.
2. The Urantia Book is a revival of Gnosticism.
3. There seems to be nothing new or original about the cosmology.
4. Urantia completely ignores the Biblical teachings about man.
5. Why shouldn't the person who put the Urantia Papers in written English be known?
6. There is no doctrine of sin in The Urantia Book. Neither is there a plan of salvation for lost man.
7. The goal of salvation represents a prolonged scheme of training and even then is indefinite and uncertain.
8. The loving, kind, and tolerant heavenly Father presented in The Urantia Book is not the God of Exodus who saves sinners.
9. The Urantia Book almost completely ignores the prophets of the Old Testament.
10. The Urantia Book is a commonplace hodgepodge of verbiage, just such as numerous automatic writers have produced.
11. The atonement has vanished in The Urantia Book. So has the majestic and jealous God who punishes his people when they go whoring after other gods.
12. While there are to be found some new ideas in The Urantia Book, there is not revealed any startling new institution.
13. The Urantia Book takes away the centrality of Christ in the Christian faith.
14. As regards science, this book is dated. It presents a very good picture of the way we looked at the cosmos many years ago.
15. The teachings of Jesus as presented in The Urantia Book can be found in a thousand different books, especially in writings prior to 1930.
16. The narrative of the earlier years of Jesus' life impressed me as being very ordinary, even sophomoric.
17. In my opinion The Urantia Book is a fraud -- a hoax. Those who perpetrated this book are criminals.
18. The Urantia Book contains no new and original concepts. There is really nothing new in its presentation of cosmology, philosophy and religion.
1. Criticism: Theologians and seminary professors will never endorse The Urantia Book.
Once upon a time the imprisoned John sent messengers to Jesus to inquire about the certainty of his teaching and his mission. Did Jesus send word to John saying: "Go tell John that the doctors of the Law and the professors of the Rabbinic Academies of Jerusalem are accepting the Gospel. The Leaders of the Pharisees and the Sadducees are being baptized - even some of the chief priests and leading citizens of Jerusalem are flocking to our standard."? No, he did not send any such message to John. But he did say to John's messengers: "Go back and tell John he is not forgotten. Tell him what you have seen and heard, that the poor have good tidings preached to them."
And the New Testament bears record that "The common people heard him gladly." Mark 12:37
It is true, near the end of his life's work, while the theologians continued to reject his teachings, many leaders among the Jews did accept the gospel message, seeing that many members of the Sanhedrin joined the Kingdom. (See pages 1910, 1118, 1789, 2013.)
Spiritual pride and ecclesiastical loyalty have always made it difficult for the chief priests and top-notch theologians to accept new truth and give recognition to new religious movements.
Note this passage from The Urantia Book, page 1128: "While personal religion precedes the evolution of human morals, it is regretfully recorded that institutional religion has invariably lagged behind the slowly changing mores of the human races. Organized religion has proved to be conservatively tardy. The prophets have usually led the people in religious development; the theologians have usually held them back. Religion, being a matter of inner or personal experience, can never develop very far in advance of the intellectual evolution of the races."
Gnosticism was a syncretism of Jewish, pagan, and Christian teachings prevalent in the early centuries of the Christian era. It was characterized by the following teachings:
- They had many secret and mystic slogans and symbols.
- You get to heaven by knowing the names of demons and by means of secret formulas.
- They taught the Old Testament doctrine that Deity created both good and evil.
- They revered seven planetary divinities: the sun, moon, and five planets.
- They taught that the soul wanders through the cosmos and finally attains heaven by means of magic formulas.
- They had a dogma of the "Grand Mother" --Sophia.
- The primal man reappears as a succession of prophets, finally as Christ.
- Salvation was largely a myth.
- They were ascetic -- followed Paul's ideas of sex and marriage.
- It embraced a lot of wild and speculative Oriental superstitions.
- Getting down to facts -- Jesus was little more than a phantom.
- Salvation was by knowledge not by faith.
Now, I submit, that anyone who has even superficially read The Urantia Book could testify that at no point is the teaching of the book in agreement with the dogmas of Gnosticism. On every count, the doctrines of Urantia are a refutation of the Gnostic teachings.
Some have thought that Paul had reference to the early teachings of Gnosticism when he admonished the Colossians -- "See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:8 Specifically, the Urantia Papers strike down all such things as secrets, symbols, slogans, ceremonies, and other magic techniques of gaining divine favor. You get to heaven by knowing God -- not the secret names of intervening demons -- and by FAITH.
The Book repudiates the teaching that God creates both good and evil. It disowns planetary deities and all things astrological.
To Urantians, the soul does not wander aimlessly through the cosmos and attain Paradise by magic formulas. The soul evolves on earth, traverses the morontia spheres, attains spirit status, and is mustered into the Mortal Corps of the Finality -- there awaiting the assignment to undisclosed service in outer space.
The Urantia Papers certainly do not countenance anything resembling Mother worship, whether it be the Gnostic Sophia or the "Virgin Mary."
The quasi-incarnation concept of the primal man evolving through the prophets to appear full bloom in Jesus Christ is not the teaching of Urantia. The bestowal of Michael is clear-cut and transcendent.
To us, salvation is not a myth; it is the eternal purpose of God and the one reality of the universe. It is the gift of God and we secure it by FAITH.
The book does not teach asceticism. It does not endorse Paul' s ideas of sex and marriage which are somewhat those of Gnosticism . Urantia ennobles sex and glorifies marriage; the home is society' s basic and grandest institution.
The book gives recognition to none of the wild and woolly oriental superstitions embraced in Gnostic speculations .
There is nothing shadowy and fantastic about the Jesus of the Urantia Papers. His past, present, and future, his nature and universe status, are portrayed in clear outlines and his teachings are presented in certitude of authenticity. In The Urantia Book, salvation is not by knowledge but by faith. Let the book speak for itself, page 290. "Faith has won for the ascendant pilgrim a perfection of purpose which admits the children of time to the portals of eternity."
Page 1865: Jesus "taught that the truth-loving soul, the one who hungers and thirsts for righteousness, for God, is admitted by faith to the spiritual kingdom."
Page 59: "The consciousness of a victorious human life on earth is born of that creature faith which dares to challenge each recurring episode of existence when confronted with the awful spectacle of human limitations, by the unfailing declaration: Even if I cannot do this, there lives in me one who can and will do it, a part of the Father-Absolute of the universe of universes. And that is ' the victory which overcomes the world, even your faith. '"
Page 1583: "The right to enter the kingdom is conditioned by faith, personal belief."
Page 1567: "The door of eternal life is wide open to all; ' whosoever will may come', there are no restrictions or qualifications save the faith of the one who comes."
Page 1733: "Now, mistake not, my Father will ever respond to the faintest flicker of faith . . . But you who have been called out of darkness into the light are expected to believe with a whole heart; your faith shall dominate the combined attitudes of body, mind, and spirit.
Page 1619: "But when you pray, you exercise so little faith. Genuine faith will remove mountains of material difficulty which may chance to lie in the path of soul expansion and spiritual progress."
Page 1682: "Acceptance by faith on your part makes you a partaker of the divine nature, a son or daughter of God. By faith you are justified; by faith are you saved; and by this same faith are you eternally advanced in the way of progressive and divine perfection."
Page 1118: "And all this doom of darkness and all this destiny of despair are forever dispelled by one brave stretch of faith on the part of the most humble and unlearned of God's children on earth." "This saving faith has its birth in the human heart when the moral consciousness of man realizes that human values may be translated in mortal experience from the material to the spiritual, from the human to the divine, from time to eternity." And all of this is in full agreement with the New Testament declaration that "the just shall live by faith." (Heb. 10:38; Gal. 3:11.)
The cosmology of The Urantia Book is not only unique and original, but it is the first time religionists have had a cosmology worthy of the universal claims of Christianity. Heretofore, the scientists have twitted the religionist about his restricted and earth-centric cosmology, but now we religionists can face science with a majestic and transcendent cosmology that even challenges the scientist to invent better instruments in order to view the teeming galaxies which are beyond the reach of their present-day telescopes.
And now about the assertion that the Urantia cosmology is mechanical. Let the book speak for itself.
Yes, we have marvelous energy mechanisms in the universe but they are living mechanisms. See pages 324, 328, 329. Page 481: "In the evaluation and recognition of mind it should be remembered that the universe is neither mechanical nor magical; it is a creation of mind and a mechanism of law. But while in practical application the laws of nature operate in what seems to be the dual realms of the physical and spiritual, in reality they are one. The First Source and Center is the primal cause of all materialization and at the same time the first and final Father of all spirits. The Paradise Father appears personally in the extra- Havona universes only as pure energy and pure spirit -- as the Thought Adjusters and other similar fragmentation's.
"Mechanisms do not absolutely dominate the total creation; the universe of universes in toto is mind planned, mind made, and mind administered. But the divine mechanism of the universe of universes is altogether too perfect for the scientific methods of the finite mind of man to discern even a trace of the dominance of the infinite mind. For this creating, controlling, and up-holding mind is neither material mind nor creature mind; it is spirit-mind functioning on and from creator levels of divine reality."
Page 432: "The ability to discern and discover mind in universe mechanisms depends entirely on the ability, scope, and capacity of the investigating mind engaged in such a task of observation. Time- space minds, organized out of the energies of time and space, are subject to the mechanisms of time and space."
"Since mind coordinates the universe, fixity of mechanisms is nonexistent. The phenomena of progressive evolution associated with cosmic self-maintenance is universal. The evolutionary capacity of the universe is inexhaustible in the infinity of spontaneity. Progress towards harmonious unity, a growing experiential synthesis superimposed on an ever-increasing complexity of relationships, could be effected only by a purposive and dominant mind."
"The higher the universe mind associated with any universe phenomenon, the more difficult it is for the lower types of mind to discover it. And since the mind of the universe mechanism is creative spirit-mind (even the mindedness of the Infinite), it can never be discovered or discerned by the lower-level minds of the universe, much less by the lowest mind of all, the human."
Page 434: "The spirit is the creative reality; the physical counterpart is the time-space reflection of the spirit reality, the physical repercussion of the creative action of the spirit-mind."
"Mind universally dominates matter, even as it is in turn responsive to the ultimate overcontrol of spirit. And with mortal man, only that mind which freely submits itself to the spirit direction can hope to survive the mortal time-space existence as an immortal child of the eternal spirit world of the Supreme, the Ultimate, and the Absolute: the Infinite."
Page 1303: "The grand universe is mechanism as well as organism, mechanical and living -- a living mechanism activated by a Supreme Mind, coordinating with a Supreme Spirit, and finding expression on maximum levels of power and personality unification as the Supreme Being."
"Mechanisms are the products of mind, creative mind acting on the cosmic potentials. Mechanisms are the fixed crystallization's of Creator thought, and they ever function true to the volitional concept that gave them origin. But the purposiveness of any mechanism is in its origin, not in its function."
"These mechanisms should not be thought of as limiting the action of Deity; rather is it true that in these very mechanics Deity has achieved one phase of eternal expression. The basic universe mechanisms have come into existence in response to the absolute will of the First Source and Center, and they will therefore eternally function in perfect harmony with the plan of the Infinite; they are indeed the non-volitional patterns of that very plan."
"We understand something of how the mechanism of Paradise is correlated with the personality of the Eternal Son; this is the function of the Con joint Actor.But in the evolving Deities of the Supreme and Ultimate we observe that certain impersonal phases are being actually united with their volitional counterparts, and thus there is evolving a new relationship between pattern and person."
Page 1305: "Nevertheless, the Father as a person may at any time interpose a fatherly hand in the stream of cosmic events all in accordance with the will of God and in consonance with the wisdom of God and as motivated by the love of God.
Page 2077: "If men were only machines, they would react more or less uniformly to a material universe. Individuality, much less personality, would be nonexistent."
"The fact of the absolute mechanism of Paradise at the center of the universes, in the presence of the unqualified volition of the Second Source and Center, makes forever certain that determiners are not the exclusive law of the cosmos. Materialism is there, but it is not exclusive; mechanism is there, but it is not unqualified; determinism is there, but it is not alone"
Page 2078: "The influence of the cosmic mind constantly injects spontaneity into even the material worlds."
"The inconsistency of the modern mechanist is: If this were merely a material universe and man only a machine, such a man would be wholly unable to recognize himself as such a machine, and likewise would such a machine-man be wholly unconscious of the fact of the existence of such a material universe The materialistic dismay and despair of a mechanistic science has failed to recognize the fact of the spirit-indwelt mind of the scientist whose very super- material insight formulates these mistaken and self-contradictory concepts of a materialistic universe ."
Page 2079: "If this were only a material universe, material man would never be able to arrive at the concept of the mechanistic character of such an exclusively material existence. This very mechanistic concept of the universe is in itself a nonmaterial phenomenon of the mind, and all mind is of nonmaterial origin, no matter how thoroughly it may appear to be materially conditioned and mechanistically controlled."
"If the universe were only material and man only a machine, there would be no science to embolden the scientist to postulate this mechanization of the universe. Machines cannot measure classify nor evaluate themselves. Such a scientific piece of work could be executed only by some entity of super-machine status"
"If universe reality is only one vast machine, then man must be outside of the universe and apart from it in order to recognize such a fact and become conscious of the insight of such an evaluation."
"If man is only a machine, by what technique does this man come to believe or claim to know that he is only a machine? The experience of self-conscious evaluation of one' s self is never an attribute of a mere machine. A self-conscious and avowed mechanist is the best possible answer to mechanism. If materialism were a fact, there could be no self-conscious mechanist."
Page 2080: "How foolish to presume that an automaton could conceive a philosophy of automatism, and how ridiculous that it should presume to form such a concept of other and fellow automatons."
The universe is not like the laws, mechanisms, and the uniformities which the scientist discovers and which he comes to regard as science, but rather like the curious, thinking, choosing, creative, combining, and discriminating scientist who thus observes universe phenomena and classifies the mathematical facts inherent in the mechanistic phases of the material side of creation Neither is the universe like the art of the artist, but rather like the striving, dreaming, aspiring and advancing artist who seeks to transcend the world of material things in the effort to achieve a spiritual goal." And so our clerical critic not only failed to envision the magnificent cosmos of The Urantia Book, but he so superficially read the text that he thought it presented a mechanical cosmos. How mistaken even a learned theologian can be when his mind is not open to the reception of new truth!
4. Criticism: Urantia completely ignores the Biblical teachings about man. For Urantia man is finite, ignorant, and enslaved by matter. In the Bible man is anxious, guilty, fallen, and spiritually perverse. There is just no common ground between these two views.
This is a criticism difficult to analyze. The criticism presents only a partial view of man as presented in the Urantia Papers. And we think that this concept of the Biblical view of man is also somewhat incomplete and a bit distorted. Since both pictures of man are hardly truly representative of either The Urantia Book or the Bible, it is hardly profitable to undertake a detailed discussion of this criticism.
But I would call attention to the full and comprehensive manner in which the book does present the Story of man' s origin, nature, history, and destiny.
The Urantia Papers tell us about the origin of life on this planet. Then follows the story of prehuman life and the appearance of Andon and Fonta, the first human beings. The arrival of the six colored races is depicted.
Humanity is carried down through the ages-- through the planetary rebellion, the Adamic default, on down to the times of Jesus' bestowal in the flesh.
There is an elaborate and profound doctrine of man presented in The Urantia Book. Man created in the image of God, endowed with a provisional free will, indwelt by a fragment of God, by faith fellow -shipped as a son of God in the brotherhood--kingdom of heaven.
Human personality is a divine gift. Survival is a gift of grace which man secures by faith. Never in all the world' s history has there been presented such a complete account of man' s origin, history, and destiny.
A minister, with a doctor's degree, recently said to me: "The Urantia concept of man is in harmony with the best Christian thought of today."
5. Criticism: Why should not the person who put the Urantia Papers in written English be known?
The authors of the Books of the Bible are known.The book itself tells about how the Urantia Papers came to be. The reason given us for not disclosing the identity of the subject employed in this transaction was: We do not want future generations to be concerned with the adoration of a Saint Peter or Saint Paul, a Luther, Calvin, or Wesley. We want no individual to be exalted by the Urantia Papers. The book should stand on its own nature and work.
We all tend to revere our religious leaders. Remember how the Edenites wanted to fall down and worship Adam and Eve. Speaking of the resident governor general, on Page 1252 of The Urantia Book, it says: "The name of the current planetary supervisor is withheld from you only because mortal man is so prone to worship, even to deify, his extraordinary compatriots and superhuman superiors."
As for the books of the Bible, we do not know the real authors of many of these sacred writings. We are just as much edified by their reverent perusal. We can enjoy a good symphony even if we do not know the name of the composer.
The Urantia Book does not aim to contribute to the creation of a new galaxy of saints or to the organization of a new church.
But keeping important information secret is nothing new. Look at the New Testament record of Jesus dealing with his apostles. After healing a leper, Jesus said: "See that you say nothing to anyone."Matt. 8:4. Following Peter's confession of his divinity, Jesus "strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ." Matt. 16:20. Regarding their experience on the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus said: "Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead." Matt. 17:9. After curing the deaf and dumb man, the Master "charged them to tell no one." Matt. 7:26. After arousing Jairus' daughter, "he charged them to tell no one what had happened." Luke 8:56.
Remember: when we are asked "Just how did you get The Urantia Book?" if each of us told everything we know about the origin of the Urantia Papers, such a narrative would not fully satisfy the inquirer, for there is too much concerning the transmittal of the Urantia Papers that none of us fully understands. If you knew all we know, you would still be ignorant of much concerning the phenomena of factualizing these documents. No living person fully understands just how the Urantia Papers got translated into the English manuscript which was authorized for publication.
One thing should be made clear to all. No person or persons are in any way desirous of gaining any advantage or notoriety out of their connection with the Urantia revelation.
Even after we attain Paradise, we encounter secrets in connection with the seven sacred worlds of the Father which revolve about Paradise. On each of these Father worlds there is to be found a domain of knowledge and experiences which is confidential to a certain group of beings. All others are denied access to this secret domain.
Divinington -- the abode of Thought Adjusters-- is open only to the Father-fragmented entities. All orders of intelligent beings are forbidden to land on Divinington.
In a military organization the higher officers are often in possession of information which it is not wise to transmit to the rank and file of the army.
6. Criticism: There is no doctrine of sin in The Urantia Book. Neither is there a plan of salvation for lost man.
Again, our critic has failed to read The Urantia Book which presents a clear-cut doctrine of sin. True it does redefine sin so as to forever separate it from errors of partial understanding and the potential evil of finite imperfection. Urantia doctrine of sin also separates this state from the ordinary "guilt feelings" which a mistaught conscience (supposedly the voice of God to the soul) imposes upon other-wise well-meaning individuals who are conscious of having violated the mores--failed to live up to some ethical ideal or some social regulation or other man-made dogmas.
Let The Urantia Book tell its own story about sin.
First, there is the background and cosmic setting of all sin as portrayed in the Lucifer rebellion--the attack upon the personality of God, the divine rule of his Creator Sons, and the whole scheme of Paradise ascension of mortal creatures to the Corps of the Finality. Then follows the story of the Caligastia betrayal of this world and the devastating consequences of the planetary rebellion.
Now as to sin as a personal experience: Page 52: "The possibility of mistaken judgment (evil) becomes sin only when the human will consciously endorses and knowingly embraces a deliberate immoral judgment."
Page 613: "Sin is potential in all realms where imperfect beings are endowed with the ability to choose between good and evil." It is true, The Urantia Book does reject the whole concept of original sin.
Jesus recognized that "sin" was according to one's light. Said he: "Before I came you had no sin, but now you have no excuse." John 15:22.
Read again on Page 754: "Sin is a purposeful resistance to divine reality--a conscious choosing to oppose spiritual progress--while iniquity consists in an open and persistent defiance of recognized reality and signifies such a degree of personality disintegration as to border on cosmic insanity."
Page 41: "The love of God saves the sinner, the law of God destroys the sin."
Page 984: "The sense or feeling of guilt is the consciousness of the violation of the mores; it is not necessarily sin. There is no real sin in the absence of conscious disloyalty to Deity."
Page 2016: "Sin is the act of conscious and deliberate rebellion against the Father's will and the Son's laws by an individual will creature." As regards the plan of salvation, the teachings of The Urantia Book are clear and replete. Salvation is based on the love of God and not on the atonement doctrine. Even Peter taught this in his Pentecostal sermon, saying: "Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him." Acts 10:34,35. The plan of saving mortals is a part of the eternal purpose of God. (See page 364.) Page 365: "The goal of eternity is ahead! The adventure of divinity attainment lies before you! The race for perfection is on! Whosoever will may enter, and certain victory will crown the efforts of every human being who will run the race of faith and trust, depending every step of the way on the leading of the indwelling Adjuster and on the guidance of that good spirit of the Universe Son, which so freely has been poured out upon all flesh." The plan of salvation is presented in The Urantia Book as:
- The Plan of Perfection Attainment. Pages 54, 85, 645.
- The Bestowal Plan. Pages 85, 454.
- The Plan of Mercy Ministry. Pages 85, 95.
- The Salvage Plan. Pages 39, 85.
Concerning the paradise ascension, read on Page 383: "Having started out on the way of life ever-lasting, having accepted the assignment and received your orders to advance, do not fear the dangers of human forgetfulness and mortal inconsistency, do not be troubled with doubts or failures or by perplexing confusion, do not falter and question your status and standing, for in every dark hour, at every crossroad in the forward struggle, the Spirit of Truth will always speak, saying "This is the way."
Read on Page 1194: "You humans have begun an endless unfolding of an almost infinite panorama, a limitless expanding of never-ending, ever-widening spheres of opportunity for exhilarating service, matchless adventure, sublime uncertainty, and boundless attainment."
Again on Page 1194: "When the clouds gather overhead, your faith should accept the fact of the presence of the indwelling Adjuster, and thus you should be able to look beyond the mists of mortal uncertainty into the clear shining of the sun of eternal righteousness on the beckoning heights of the mansion worlds of Satania." And all of this is also good New Testament teaching. Read I John 5:4: "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith."
In The Urantia Book the doctrines of sin and salvation make sense. They are consistent with our knowledge of science (psychology) on the one hand and the teachings of Jesus on the other.
The Urantia Papers deny both original sin and universal and unconditioned salvation. To be sure, we have "all sinned and come short of the glory of God." Rom. 3:23. But only those who choose survival will go on to find God and become more and more like him.
7. Criticism: The goal of salvation represents a prolonged scheme of training and even then is indefinite and uncertain.
Yes, The Urantia Book does present a vast scheme of universe education as a part of the survival plan for mortal ascenders. Others have found fault with this scheme of Paradise ascension. The most notable of all such critics was Lucifer himself. One of the three major criticisms of the rebellious Lucifer had to do with the prolonged training given mortal survivors.
Salvation is not magical -- falling asleep in death as a material creature and waking up in heaven as a full-fledged spirit being. The Paradise ascension is evolutional not magical. Salvation is real -- not a fantasy.
Mortal survivors are being educated and trained for some magnificent destiny. And all of this practical education is in itself a transcendent destiny.
8. Criticism: The loving, kind, and tolerant heavenly Father presented in The Urantia Book is not the God of Exodus and the God who saves sinners.
The Bible does not encourage us to look for new truth -- its injunction is Remember and Obey.Our critic wants us to go back to the jealous and angry god of the times of Samuel and Elijah. In a way this criticism is valid. The Urantia Book does present the portrait of an affectionate heavenly Father such as that presented by the Second Isaiah and exemplified in the life and teachings of Jesus.
The whole concept of the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth is contrary to the idea of a "closed revelation" -- "The Faith once delivered to the saints." Jesus promised a progressive religious experience, a spirit guide who should "lead us into all truth."
This critic certainly failed to read Paper 97, "Evolution of the God Concept among the Hebrews." Deity concepts progressively change from Samuel to Isaiah.
The whole plan of revelation signifies growth. We are admonished to "grow in grace and a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 3:18.
The Urantia Book pictures God as Jesus presented him --a loving heavenly Father. The idea of a "closed revelation" -- the preservation of the "Faith once delivered to the saints" was what led to the downfall of the Jewish people. While defending their faith they rejected the very gift of God which their own prophets had foreshadowed.
The God of The Urantia Book is a God who "saves sinners" -- from cover to cover the book proclaims: "Whosoever will may come and partake freely of the water of life."
9. Criticism: The Urantia Book almost completely ignores the prophets of the Old Testament. The reason for this is clear--the teachings of the prophets flatly contradict the scheme of The Urantia Book.
Again this critic has failed to read the book. There are hundreds of references to the Old Testament in The Urantia Book. Papers 73-76, 93-98 are devoted wholly to the consideration of Old Testament persons, peoples, and religions.
The Urantia Papers validate both the Old and the New Testament Scriptures. They also recognize the basic truths of the leading oriental religions.
The Urantia Book portrays the continuous evolutionary growth of religion as augmented by periodic revelation from the dawn of civilization to the present hour. Divine truth is living and expanding; always growing and increasingly illuminating the pathways of human development.
10. Criticism: The Urantia Book is a commonplace hodgepodge of verbiage, just such as numerous automatic writers have produced.
I can testify that the Urantia Papers were not the product of automatic writing or any other technique of psychic legerdemain known to me.
While we are not at liberty to tell you even the little we know about the technique of the production of the Urantia Papers, we are not forbidden to tell you how we did not get these documents.
Let me call your attention to the following outline of present-day psychologic and psychic phenomena.
UNUSUAL ACTIVITIES OF THE MARGINAL CONSCIOUSNESS: (The subconscious mind)
NOTE: The technique of the reception of The Urantia Book in English in no way parallels or impinges upon any of the above phenomena of the marginal consciousness.
- 1. Automatic writing
- 2. Automatic talking
- a. Speaking with "tongues"
- b. Trance mediums
- c. Spirit mediums
- d. Catalepsy
- 3. Automatic hearing--Clairaudience
- a. Hearing voices"
- 4. Automatic seeing
- a. Dream states--twilight meditation
- b. Visions--Automatic dramatization
- c. Hallucinations (shifty "reality" feelings)
- 5. Automatic thinking
- a . Automatic fearing--Anxiety neurosis
- b. Automatic ideation--mental compulsions
- c. automatic judgments - Intuition, "hunches"
- d. Automatic Association of ideas--premonitions
- e. Automatic guessing - ESP--extrasensory perception
- f. Automatic deductions--delusions--paranoia
- g. Dominance by marginal consciousness--dreams and hypnosis
- 6. Automatic remembering
- a. clairvoyance--automatic memory associations
- b . Telepathy--mind reading (?)
- c. Fortune telling (largely fraudulent)
- d. Musical and mathematical marvels
- 7. Automatic acting
- a. Automatic behavior--(major hysteria; witchcraft)
- b. Automatic motion--motor compulsions
- c. Automatic overdrives--manic episodes
- d. Automatic walking--somnambulism
- 8. Automatic personalization
- a. Automatic forgetting--amnexia
- b. Automatic dissociation--double and multiple personality
- c. Schizophrenia - split personality
- 9. Combined and associated psychic states
11. Criticism: The atonement has vanished in The Urantia Book. So has the majestic and jealous God who punishes his people when they go whoring after other gods.
This is a valid criticism. In The Urantia Book the atonement has vanished. Read on Page 41: "Righteousness may be the divine thought, but love is the Father' s attitude. The erroneous supposition that the righteousness of God was irreconcilable with the selfless love of the heavenly Father, presupposed absence of unity in the nature of Deity and led directly to the elaboration of the atonement doctrine, which is a philosophical assault upon both the unity and the free-willness of God." The Urantia Book goes so far as to declare that the atonement doctrine is an insult to Deity.
There is a penalty for those who forsake God and abandon the pursuit of survival. And the penalty is loss of being annihilation. "They shall become as though they had not been." Obid 16.
12. Criticism: While there are to be found some new ideas in The Urantia Book, there is not revealed any startling new institution.
Jesus was the greatest of all revelations -- the incarnation -- but he preached a simple gospel: the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men. He appealed much to the Old Testament. Much of his preaching was to the common people.
The Urantia Book is an attempt to unify present-day scientific knowledge and religious truth. The main purpose of the Urantia Papers is to help the average person to a better understanding of Jesus' religion. This means an emphasis on the religion of Jesus as contrasted to the religion about Jesus.
The Urantia Book, while presenting many new concepts, devoted much attention to the exaltation of much that is old -- the home, education, and social equity.
Remember, it is not the purpose of The Urantia Book to start a new church. The book condemns sectarian religions. The book is a gift to all religions, including Christianity.
The mission of the book is well told on page 2090: "The time is ripe to witness the figurative resurrection of the human Jesus from his burial tomb amidst the theological traditions and the religious dogmas of nineteen centuries. Jesus of Nazareth must not be longer sacrificed to even the splendid concept of the glorified Christ. What a transcendent service if, through this revelation, the Son of Man should be recovered from the tomb of traditional theology and be presented as the living Jesus to the church that bears his name, and to all other religions! Surely the Christian fellowship of believers will not hesitate to make such adjustments of faith -- and of practices of living as will enable it to ' follow after' the Master in the demonstration of his real life of religious devotion to the doing of his father's will and of consecration to the unselfish service of man.
"Do professed Christians fear the exposure of a self-sufficient and un-consecrated fellowship of social respectability and selfish economic maladjustment? Does institutional Christianity fear the possible jeopardy or even the overthrow, of ecclesiastical authority if the Jesus of Galilee is reinstated in the minds and souls of mortal men as the ideal of personal religious living? Indeed, the social readjustments, the economic transformations, the moral rejuvenation's, and the religious revisions of Christian civilization would be drastic and revolutionary if the living religion of Jesus should suddenly supplant the theologic religion about Jesus."
13. Criticism The Urantia Book takes away the centrality of Christ in the Christian faith. While The Urantia Book places God at the center of the master universe, as well as at the center of the Christian faith, the bestowal Son shares this place with his Father.
The Urantia teaching greatly enlarges the mission of Jesus on this world. In addition to the concept of Savior, he becomes our Creator and Sovereign Lord. The statement -- "No one comes to the Father except by me" becomes much more absolute in its significance.
In the religion of Jesus, the bestowal Son of God becomes the real center of the gospel of the kingdom. The religion about Jesus may give a large place to Peter at Pentecost, to Paul and his epistles, and to the early church fathers. But in the Urantia version of the gospel of the kingdom, Jesus of Nazareth -- the Son of God and the Son of Man -- is forever at the center of the good news about the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
The Urantia Book recognizes the supremacy of Christ in all things religious, when it validates his many titles on Page 1965:
- I am the bread of life.
- I am the living water.
- I am the light of the world
- I am the desire of all ages.
- I am the open door to eternal salvation.
- I am the reality of endless life.
- I am the good shepherd.
- I am the pathway to infinite perfection.
- I am the resurrection and the life.
- I am the secret of eternal survival.
- I am the way, the truth, and the life.
- I am the infinite Father of my finite children.
- I am the true vine; you are the branches.
- I am the hope of all who know the truth.
- I am the living bridge from one world to another.
- I am the living link between time and eternity.
14. Criticism: As regards science, this book is dated. It presents a very good picture of the way we looked at the cosmos many years ago.
On the whole, I think this is a valid criticism of The Urantia Book. Let me read from The Urantia Book, page 1109. "Because your world is generally ignorant of origins, even of physical origins, it has appeared to be wise from time to time to provide instruction in cosmology. And always has this made trouble for the future. The laws of revelation hamper us greatly by their proscription of the impartation of unearned or premature knowledge. Any cosmology presented as a part of revealed religion is destined to be outgrown in a very short time. Accordingly, future students of such a revelation are tempted to discard any element of genuine religious truth it may contain because they discover errors on the face of the associated cosmologies therein presented.
"Mankind should understand that we who participate in the revelation of truth are very rigorously limited by the instructions of our superiors. We are not at liberty to anticipate the scientific discoveries of a thousand years. Revelators must act in accordance with the instructions which form a part of the revelation mandate. We see no way of overcoming this difficulty, either now or at any future time. We full well know that, while the historic facts and religious truths of this series of revelatory presentations will stand on the records of the ages to come, within a few short years, many of our statements regarding the physical sciences will stand in need of revision in consequence of additional scientific developments and new discoveries. These new developments we even now fore-see, but we are forbidden to include such humanly undiscovered facts in the revelatory records. Let it be made clear that revelations are not necessarily inspired. The cosmology of these revelations is not inspired. It is limited by our permission for the coordination and sorting of present-day knowledge. While divine or spiritual insight is a gift, human wisdom must evolve." The science of the Urantia Papers bears the closing date of A.D. 1934. Even if it is now regarded as ten years out of date, it was 15 or 20 years ahead of the times when first presented to us. But even now, the fact of the ultimaton has not yet been discovered, even though there have been several hints along this line in the scientific papers of the last few years.
15. Criticism: The teachings of Jesus as presented in The Urantia Book can be found in a thousand different books, especially in writings prior to 1930.
You notice that our critic fails to cite the books which portray the teachings of Jesus as found in The Urantia Book. It is comforting to be told that the Urantia teachings have such far-flung support among Christian authors. But I find much in Jesus' Urantia teachings which I have not here-to-fore encountered.
I can cite dozens of discourses, talks, conferences, and question- and-answer periods -- which I challenge anyone to find already on record in present-day Christian literature.
16. Criticism: The narrative of the earlier years of Jesus' life -- the silent years of the Gospels -- impressed me as being very ordinary, even sophomoric. Nothing extraordinary happened. I could sit down and dictate as good, or better, a story in three or four hours.I am glad that in the main rhetoric of the narratives of Jesus' life is easily comprehensible by sophomores, even freshmen, of high school as well as on the collegiate level. Just the other day a college sophomore related to me how much he had been helped by this story of Jesus' early life. But as I review these years, there is impressed on my mind many discussions that could easily engage the deep thinking of men and women many grades above the sophomore level. Let me call your attention to a few:
- His assumption of responsibility and management of family affairs after his father' s death.
- His wise dealing with the conflicts between patriotism and religious loyalties.
- Dealings with the affairs of his brothers and sisters, not to mention his mother.
- The story of his Personal work on the Rome trip and how it later worked out in the beginnings of the Christian religion as it spread in the Roman Empire.
- Jesus' discourse on reality.
- The Carthage discourse on Time and Space.
- The editing of the Hindu lad' s selections on comparative religions.
- His discussions with the religious leaders at Rome on True Values, Truth and Faith, Good and Evil.
- The counsel on Wealth.
- The wisdom of his personal ministry to Ganid.
- The sagacious dealing with the courtesans.
- The Athenian discourse on science.
- The Ephesian discourse on the soul.
- The discussion of mind at Cyprus.
- The unique story of his experiences at Lake Urmia.
- The Mount Hermon sojourn
Yes, in a way nothing out of the ordinary happened. That was also the great stumbling block to Mary. As Mary tried to bolster her faith, doubts would creep in because "nothing out of the ordinary ever happened ." Our friend thinks he could dictate a narrative of Jesus' life from the twelfth year to his baptism in the Jordan in three or four hours any day -- I doubt it. At least in nineteen hundred years it has not been done.
This reminds me of an agnostic patient I had several years ago. He complained that Jesus' sermons were very ordinary -- that his teachings consisted largely of commonplace stories -- parables. Said he could write out a dozen parables any evening.
I said to this man: "I'll pay a good price for every parable which you bring me which will be at all comparable with the leading parables of Jesus." He promised to undertake the job. I did not hear from him for three weeks. Then he said: "Well I guess that Jesus told most of these parables. I did not think up many that seemed to be as good as those found in his sermons."
There are so many features of this story of Jesus' early life that can be checked and rechecked. There is a consistency about the narrative that would not be found in a piece of pure fiction.
Don't forget: During these years he was living the truly human life -- as man among men -- as contrasted with the more divine features which appeared ever and anon after the occasion of his baptism.
The Apostle Paul had some troubles like this. Some of his critics complained that his gospel was pedestrian -- even sophomoric -- that it was lacking in erudition and deficient in learned philosophy. This is Paul' s answer to these critics as found in the first chapter of First Corinthians, verses 18-27. "For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart.' Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For the Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified a stumbling-block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
"For consider your call, brethren: how many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong." Again First Corinthians 2:14: "The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand because they are spiritually discerned."
Anyone who would call the Urantia Papers a fraud does not know much about the people who were concerned with the factualization of this unique book. My wife and I had considerable experience with the exposure of mediumistic frauds and psychic humbugs during our earlier years, and some forty years ago I wrote a book depicting our experiences in dealing with these practitioners of the occult.
There was nothing questionable, much less fraudulent, connected with the origin of The Urantia Book. At the first glimpse of such, my associates and I would have forsaken the whole affair. We never detected anything fraudulent in the phenomena spread out over twenty-five years. True, we encountered much we could not explain, cannot explain even today. But there was no deception or other questionable practices.
Neither did the Forum -- more than one hundred and fifty persons who supplied the questions which brought forth the Urantia Papers -- ever detect any evidences of fraud.
No one has ever found a contradiction in The Urantia Book, a book of more than one million words. If your story is fictitious, you just can't go on the witness stand for more than twenty-five years to be examined and cross-examined by more than one hundred and fifty people, and never make a single slip-up. To pass such a test you have to be telling the truth.
It is now more than three years since the book was published; several thousand copies have been distributed which have been read by more thousands of people, and yet no one has discovered a contradiction; not even the severest critic has brought forth such an accusation.
When my son came home on furlough from the Marine Corps to read the Urantia Papers, the first question he asked me was: "Dad, is there any one making money out of this thing?" I answered: "No Son, but there are a number of us who are putting money into it." By the time the book was published we had, in time and money, put in over one hundred thousand dollars. Except for professional proof reading, no one was paid one cent during all the years of the production and publication of The Urantia Book.
But the cry of fraud is an old one. They charged Jesus with being a fraud -- "Are you not Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter' s son?" And they went on to charge that he was in league with devils. Said one minister critic of The Urantia Book: "It unfolds the melodramatic shotgun wedding of secondhand neoplatonized Gnosticism and slipshod Protestant rationalism to sanctified science-fiction and sheer damn foolishness. The bastard offspring of this union is called Urantia. There is no place for it in the house of the Lord."
18. Criticism: The Urantia Book contains no new and original concepts. There is really nothing new in its presentation of cosmology, philosophy and religion.
In reply to this criticism, I submit 64 concepts and doctrines which are new and original as presented in The Urantia Book, not to mention more than one hundred additional narratives which represent enlargement, amplification, and clarification of existing knowledge.
- The Eternal Son of Paradise: For the first time in human records clearly designated and personally identified.
- The unique Conjoint Actor: The concept of the Third Person of Deity is both unique and original in the Urantia Papers.
- The Paradise Trinity: In The Urantia Book the Paradise Trinity finds its only present-day identification and recognition.
- The Central Geographic Residence of Deity: For the first time the world knows exactly where God lives.
- The absolute Isle of Paradise: The original concept of Paradise as the absolute of non-deity reality.
- Multiple Creator Sons: Recognition of more than 700,000 Creator Paradise Sons.
- Concept of the Absolutes: The concept of the Unqualified, Universal, and Deity Absolutes is original with the Urantia Book.
- Doctrine of Evolutionary Deity: While I saw an intimation of finite Deity in one of Pratt's books about the time of the coming of the Urantia Papers, I am sure that the concepts of the Supreme Being and God the Ultimate are original.
- Concept of the Triunities: The Triunities are an original Urantia concept.
- Havona Universe and Natives: The billion world picture of Havona and its inhabitants is a wholly new and original concept.
- The Concept of Space: Notwithstanding the theory of an "exploding cosmos," the space concept of The Urantia Book is new and original.
- The Grand and Master Universes: The overall concept of the Master cosmos is not only original, but it far transcends all previous ideas.
- The Seven Orders of Trinity-Created Days: While one of these seven orders, the "Ancients of Days," is mentioned in the Bible, the whole presentation is both new and original.
- The Paradise Sons of God: The story of Magisterial and Trinity Teacher Sons in addition to Creator Sons is entirely original with The Urantia Book.
- Trinitized Sons of God: The story and technique of the trinitization of divine Sons is unique and original in the Urantia Papers.
- The Seven Master Spirits: While the Bible makes mention of seven Spirits of God, it is only in The Urantia Book that these Spirits are identified and their work fully described.
- The Vast Family of the Conjoint Actor: The vast and far- flung family of the Infinite Spiritþsupernaphim, seconaphim, Solitary Messengers are but briefly foreshadowed by the Biblical narrative of seraphim and cherubim.
- The Universal Circuits: The gravity, personality, spirit, and mind circuits are original teaching of The Urantia Book.
- Universal Reflectivity - Majeston: The amazing story of universal reflectivity is a wholly new an original presentation of the Urantia revelation.
- Power Directors- Force Organizers: The whole concept of intelligent and purposive control of cosmic energy is original with The Urantia Book.
- Evolution of Energy - Matter: While some phases of the Urantia story of the evolution of energy may have been foreshadowed by scientific discovery, nevertheless, the concept as a whole is new as presented in the Urantia Papers.
- The Ultimaton: At the time of the suggestion of the Ultimaton in the Urantia Papers, I had never heard of such a concept in scientific literature. During the past five or six years, I have noted several different intimations of the possible existence of some physical factor analogous to the ultimaton concept .
- Origin of the Solar System: While the Urantia narrative of the origin of the solar system includes some features of the Moulton-Chamberlain theory, the whole story is so complete and unique as to make it practically an original presentation.
- The Architectural Worlds: Worlds made to order of specifications is original with The Urantia Book.
- Universe Administration: From the inhabited world to the management of the grand universe the administrative scheme of The Urantia Book is entirely new.
- The Life Carriers: Nothing like the concept of the Life Carriers has ever been suggested to humankind in all past history.
- Origin of the Human Race: While the Urantia story of the origin of the human race validates doctrine of evolution, nevertheless, it presents such a detailed and unique narrative as to constitute an all but original presentation of human origins.
- Origin of the Colored Races: The Urantia story of the origin of the Sangik races is the only such narrative in existence.
- Source and Nature of Personality: While The Urantia Book, like science, fails to define personality, it does designate its origin and gratifyingly portrays its magnificent destiny.
- The Concept of Thought Adjusters: While the Bible talks about the "true light which lighteth every man coming into the world," the story of Thought Adjusters as revealed in the Urantia Papers is so replete and unique as to constitute a new and original story.
- Evolution of the Soul: The concept of the origin, nature, and evolution of the soul is original with The Urantia Book.
- Identification of the Holy Spirit: Pointing out the Holy Spirit as the presence of the Local Universe Mother Spirit is altogether new and original in the Urantia Papers.
- The Seven Adjutant Spirits: While the Bible makes mention of seven spirits and in Isaiah partially identifies them, the Urantia narrative is so full and unique as to make it an original presentation.
- Local Universe Sons of God: The whole story of Local Universe Sons is new and original.
- The Ascension Plan þ Be You Perfect: While Jesus propounded the mandate "Be you perfect," etc., the unfoldment of the Paradise ascension plan in The Urantia Book is an all but new and original concept.
- The Seven Mansion Worlds: While the Master alluded to the "mansion worlds," the replete story of their nature and province is both new and original.
- The Morontia Concept: The whole morontia conceptþthe stage between the material and the spiritualþis new and original.
- Celestial Artisans and Reversion Directors: Both of these concepts are new in The Urantia Book. The concept of celestial play and spiritual humor is all but new.
- Concept of Permanent Citizenship: This is wholly original with The Urantia Book.
- The Urantia Midwayers: While the Old Testament does refer to the "Nephilim" the citation is so indefinite as to constitute the Urantia story of the midwayers as a new and original narrative.
- The Superhuman Planetary Government: The story of the planetary functions of the Most Highs, the Reserve Corps, and the planetary seraphim is original, notwithstanding the allusion to the work of the Most Highs in the Bible.
- The Billions of Inhabited Worlds: At the time of the arrival of the Urantia Papers, there was no literature dealing with inhabited worlds other than our world. The idea was new. In recent years we frequently run across speculations regarding other inhabited planets.
- Clarification of Sin and Rebellion: The unique clarification of sin and rebellion is original with The Urantia Book.
- Identification of Adam and Eve: The factual narrative of the legendary story of Adam and Eve is original.
- Clarification of Melchizedek: The Melchizedek story as clarified in the Urantia narrative is really a new and original concept.
- Concept of the Ages of Light and Life: The fruition of mortal evolution as portrayed in the concept of the ages of light and life is altogether new and original.
- A Unified History of Urantia: Nowhere else in all the world can you find a consistent and unified history of our world. For the first time we have a chronology of human affairs.
- Diseases: The Book presents a new and original explanation of microbic diseases.
- Antigravity: The whole concept of antigravity-is unique and original with the Urantia Papers. Only during the last year has any scientist promulgated a theory of antigravity.
- Jesus' Birthday: For the first time during the Christian era, we know the real birthday of Jesus--August 21, 7BC.
- Experimental Planet: The fact that Urantia was a decimal planetþthat the Life Carriers had permission to attempt new features of biologic evolution. This is information not heretofore known on the planet.
- The Evolution of Religion: While you can read much about the evolution of religion on Urantia, nevertheless, the straightforward story told in the Urantia Papers is unique and original.
- The Unique Reason for Jesus' Bestowal: The Urantia Book presents a new, unique, and original reason for Jesus' life and death on our world.
- A Chronological Story of Jesus' Life: The Book presents the only complete story of Jesus' life on this world.
- Identification of the Twelve Apostles: The Urantia story is the first time the confusion of the 12 Apostles has been straightened out.
- The Unique Story of Mary: The story of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is unique and original.
- The Water and the Wine: As far as I know, The Urantia Book presents an original explanation of this supposed miracle.
- Explanation of Unintended Miracles: The Book presents a possible explanation of numerous unintended miracles.
- Jesus' Attitude toward Art and Athletics: The Master's attitude toward art and athletics is nowhere else revealed.
- The Sermon on the Mount: I am, of course, not familiar with all the literature on the Sermon on the Mount. But as far as I know, the interpretation of this address in The Urantia Book is new and original.
- The Women' s Evangelistic Corps: This story is new, notwithstanding the brief mention of this matter in the New Testament.
- Rodan of Alexandria: This whole story is original with The Urantia Book.
- The Story of Abner: The unique story of the head of John the Baptist's apostles is original with the Urantia Papers.
- David Zebedee' s Intelligence Corps: This entire story is exclusively Found in The Urantia Book